The days are now starting to blend in together. Each passing day is starting to feel the same; the difference from day to day is slight, consisting of being in various parts of town and visiting different coffee shops.
In the back of my mind lurks that terrible thought of departure day. I keep it repressed.
Today is the day to take care of â€œbusinessâ€. Meaning, after much shopping, research, conjecture and thinking, etc., today is the day to purchase seeds.
My cold is now very bad; complete with intermittent sneezing fits at random intervals. We stop at Etos drug store and I purchase a package of those small pocket size Kleenexes. My gut tells me today will be the day I feel at maximum shittiness, but thereafter, things will improve.
We walk to Barneyâ€™s Farm to buy a few seed strains of their high end Sativas. Red has been mentioning how she really likes the Laughing Buddha, so we walk two doors over to but some weed at Barneyâ€™s coffee shop. The place it packed! A sardine can. Full of â€œblokesâ€. The line for weed purchases extends out the door and onto the sidewalk. But magically, the table by the window is open, and the door bouncer, who once again defers checking our ages, tells Red she can sit here.
I go stand in the weed line, striking up a conversation with a young German engineer in front of me who has a huge weed bud in his hand. He allows me to admire it, telling me it is Laughing Buddha. Why he holds a picture perfect bud in his hand while being in the weed line I donâ€™t know. But we talk on and on about how well we like this strain.
Finally, after over 20 minutes, I reach the weed counter. One of the two bud tenders tells me they are all out of Laughing Buddha. I say ok, Iâ€™ll take a g of Dr. Grinspoon. â€œSodddy, sold outâ€. He then goes over the menu item by item telling me which items are out of stockâ€¦. Every single Sativa strain is sold out! â€œCome back in two hours, weâ€™ll have moreâ€.
We sit by the window smoking. The door bouncer is quite diplomatic yet firm. Damn near everyone must have identification. Those whoâ€™s youth appear suspect, must have a passport for ID, says the bouncer. He explains the risk of police shutting down the store if a single underage person is discovered.
We finish and visit a couple more seed shops and the business is completed. We have supported the Dutch economy by dropping over US 1,000. on pedigree seeds. I feel good to have completed business.
We stop for lunch at the Port van Clieve next to the Magna building. The place is nearly empty except for one large table of middle-aged Dutch women having a very good time together making choling sounds as they laugh. The hostess asks if we have reservations. (Huh? WTF?)
We are seated by the window. Five minutes later a waitress arrives asking if we want drinks, and we order our usual: Coke Light for Red (aka Diet Coke in the US) and Seven up for me. We are now starving.
Twenty minutes go by. Are we being intentionally ignored? I think notâ€¦.this is just the standard, no hurry Dutch way. Finally I hail the waitress and she asks, â€œYou vant a lunch karteâ€? â€œJaâ€ we say. We both order BLTC sandwichesâ€¦. Your standard BLT with chicken, thus the â€œCâ€.
We consume the most delicious BLTâ€™s weâ€™ve ever had. Afterwards, knowing we will die of old age before the waitress brings over a check, as is again typical of no hurry service in Holland, we ask for the check, and depart.
Red is now feeling proud of herself now that she can finally recognize which part of town she is in. â€œThat is the New Church, yes?â€
We stop in Homegrown Fantasy coffee shop. Our minds and bodies revived by the coffee, we soak up the pleasant vibes in this touristy but nice coffee shop. I tell Red this is the very first coffee shop I visited in 1996.
We have a semi serious discussion about our general sloth. We agree our only interest is simply aimless wandering and visiting coffee shops. Nothing of any socially redeeming value. From somewhere inside, the old Protestant Work Ethic emerges from me, and I wonder out loud if we should visit museums, historic sights, etc. Red immediately sets me straight: â€œYou work so hard, this is your vacation, and you should continue to do absolutely nothing if that is what you feel likeâ€. The deep logic she has presented is difficult to dispute, and she soon has me back on the track of rightful thinking. We smoke another bowl, laugh at the fact we are two sixty-somethingâ€™s reliving the carefree hippy days of our youth.
I am now again very tired from the bad cold I have, we tram it to the hotel.
Walking to our tram in front of Central Station among the vibrant crowds, we walk behind the cutest little French bulldog, a young one full of life and energy, so curious. Suddenly, two pit bulls walking in the oppiste direction aggressively lunge at this cute little Frenchie bull dog. The aura is shattered by the intense viciousness of these two pits, straining hard against their thick, strong leashes. Were these pits also abused as bait dogs in their puppyhood as my dog was? Itâ€™s really not the bred at fault; it is the dimwit dog owners who are the problem.
As luck would have it, the Frenchie bulldog sat right across from us on the tram. Red and I both got our dogs hits, enjoying the friendly, playful dogginess.
We stop in at the performing arts center next to the Movenpick Hotel, and see lots of young people playing string instruments. Ok, we had our dose of culture.
We recover with deep catnaps, lifeâ€™s great pleasure.
Off we go into the Friday night. Hungry, in the mood for Asian food, we walk to the Chinese district. We search for Thai Bird, but are unable to find it. We check out the various Chinese placesâ€¦ some look dubious. Finally, we find a place with appealing menus. The Chinese menus with over 100 possible meals. Peering into the windows, we see the place is crowded. A good sign. We then notice that 75% of the customers are Chinese, a VERY good sign.
We sit. Red orders Tequila. Her drink is watered down, not near as strong as the drinks I make for her. Again, we nearly die of old age waiting for the check.
It is very busy in Amsterdam this Friday night. We go to Abraxis coffee shop for an after dinner coffee and smoke. The place is jammed. We try Paradox; also jammed. Then we hoof it to 420 cafÃ©. A virtual sardine can. On to Siberieâ€¦. A solid packed house.
We decide to go to Barneys and buy some of that Laughing Buddha. The weed line again extends out the door. We take our place, and the line moves slowly. Next in front of me in the line at the weed counter, two American girls look at the menu in a baffled way. They ask the bud tender what the different weeds are and which one is the strongest. The bud tender explains the weeds at the top of the menu are least strong, and as one goes down the list, they become stronger. Gee, thatâ€™s news to me, and IMHO, I would take issue with that. And I note the weed at the bottom of the list is noted to have won a cannabis cup award. Pseudo credibility. The two â€˜Mercan girls order the strongest weed.
We buy our weed. As we depart the now even more crowded shop, the female bouncer tells us we can go to the Barneyâ€™s Uptown across the street, and we can smoke weed there.
We emerge, and Red says the bouncer is really saying you can go to the Barneyâ€™s bar where all the older Fâ€™ers go to wallow in booze. Iâ€™m inclined to agree.
This place is jammed too. But we find two seats at the bar. Red orders an Irish whisky; me a seven-up. Red comments on her watered down drink. We smoke our grass, and note out attitude adjustments. The place has a DJ in the back, good dÃ©cor, friendly bartenders. The music is loud. On the wall behind the bar, we see a digital decibel meter. The numbers bounce in the upper 60 dBA range, with occasional spikes into the upper 70 low 80 dBA range. Isnâ€™t that the point of hearing loss?
â€œWhat did you sayâ€?
We are not much for bars, but tonight the stars seemed to align for us and this place. Red orders another Irish whisky. We smoke some more, feeling totally content.
Finally, we emerge into the late but pleasant night. We slowly walk down Haarlemerstraat. One sees packs of young men now, walking speedily to some unknown destination. Couples hand in hand, enjoying this most romantic city, as Red has defined it. Dutchies heading home on their fiets.
An absolutely textbook perfect evening. One could not ask for more. We are totally content and feel as if we are in a temporary state of grace being in this unique, wonderful city.
Life is goeden.
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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
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